I enjoyed your feature on the first-year experience for newly minted assistant professors. In this era of the $2 million start-up package, my own experience in 1963 with Yale University offers an interesting contrast. The matter of start-up assistance was never discussed. It was tacitly assumed that the needed funds would come from NIH or NSF, and indeed my NIH grant was activated on my first day of appointment. Yale did end up contributing; they had asked me to include $8,000 for lab renovations in my NIH proposal. By the time the grant was funded, the renovations had been completed at Yale’s expense. Alas, Yale learned too late that work completed before the grant had been approved could not be reimbursed. So the $8,000 became my start-up package.
Christopher K. Mathews